“For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. “For just as the rain and snow come down from heaven, and do not return there without watering the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, yielding seed for the sower and bread for eating, so will my message be that goes out of my mouth—it won’t return to me empty. Instead, it will accomplish what I desire, and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. – Isaiah 55:9-11 (NIV)
Do you find yourself questioning God? Perhaps you just exited a troubling season in life or are entering a season whereas, the outcome is not manifesting as you had planned. You may be wondering how anything good can emerge from this situation. You may also be wondering if God really cares about your pain.
The truth of the matter is that God really does care. In fact, He cares more about what you are going through than you could ever fathom. The place where we get tripped up is in our level of understanding of God’s thoughts and ways. Many times our response to circumstances exemplifies that we desire for the Lord to be the lover of our flesh, when in fact He is the lover of our soul. Our humanistic side desires an outcome that our minds and bodies consider to be pleasing to our five senses.
Nevertheless, although God cares about what’s pleasing to our flesh, His primary focus is our souls. Furthermore, He doesn’t just care about your individual soul but the soul of your spouse, co-worker, in-laws and even those who oppose you. Thus, even though the things we go through are very specific to us as individuals, the final outcome has more to do with how it will impact humanity as a whole and draw people to the Lord.
Lord, thank You for being the lover of my soul. Help me to see my circumstance from Your vantage point so that I can die to the desires of the flesh and desire an outcome that will draw humanity to you.
…Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. – 2 Corinthians 12:7-9 (NIV)
Are you struggling with a physical or emotional ailment or situation? Perhaps you pray every day for God to take it away but it seems as though your prayers are falling on deaf ears. You may even think that your quality of life and ability and effectiveness to serve God would be so much greater if He would only remove this.
One thing is certain, God hears your prayers. Your heavenly Father is madly in love with you. He definitely cares about all that you are going through. You are not alone in your struggle. As a matter of fact, Jesus is in heaven interceding on your behalf right now. As you are going about your day, Someone very special is serving as your advocate.
It may be hard to fathom why God has yet to remove this issue but His thoughts, ways and reasons are so much higher than we could possibly comprehend. It is imperative that we understand that even though God cares deeply for what we are enduring as individuals, we are all intricately connected and have a role in His grand upper story. Perhaps what You are dealing with has less to do with you and more to do with God using your circumstance in some unique way to draw people to Himself.
Lord, thank You for hand-picking me to deal with what I’m going through. I praise You whether You decide to remove it or not. Either way, may my response to this situation be uplifting and draw many people to You.
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. – Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)
Do you feel as though you’re on a continuous performance based roller coaster? Perhaps at your workplace, home, among your circle of friends or even at church, people expect you to have things all figured out. You may be so seasoned at pretending whereas, on the outside you have a very polished and well put together look but on the inside you feel like a hot mess.
In the fast pace world in which we live, it’s quite common to feel intense external pressure. If the truth be told, quite frequently we find ourselves putting unrealistic expectations on those around us as well. We demand nothing less than a well thought out strategic plan that has every variable that could possibly arise taken into account.
Many times what we fail to acknowledge is that we only have as much insight into the future as God so chooses to reveals to us. Generally speaking, there are times that God purposefully withholds segments of information from us. His heartbeat is to keep us in a posture where we’re fully relying on Him. As we’re in need of direction and guidance, it prompts us to lean in closer to Him.
Lord, thank You for illuminating my path and revealing Your strategic plan for my life, one step at a time. When others are demanding to know my future plans that You have yet to reveal to me, may I be able to confidently and boldly respond, “I don’t know what the future holds but I can walk in peace because I know the One who holds my bright future in the palm of His hands.”
For we are God’s masterpiece, created in the Messiah Jesus to perform good actions that God prepared long ago to be our way of life. – Ephesians 2:10 (ISV)
And we know that for those who love God, that is, for those who are called according to his purpose, all things are working together for good. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that the Son might be the firstborn among many brothers. – Romans 8:28-29 (ISV)
Do you feel that your life has been a compilation of tests? You may be wondering if this will ever end. As you look back, you may notice that there is a common tread throughout. It may be a different scenario but typically it is always in line with the same theme. Perhaps for you, the seemingly endless trials involve finances or emotional wounds or severed relationships.
One thing is certain is that every living being was created by God to carry out a very specific assignment. Our individual purpose for existence was woven into our DNA so that every detail about our being is on point to carry out that assignment. Furthermore, the things that we go through has more to do with fulfilling our calling. God is not picking on us or abandoning us when we go through trials. He trusts us with the trials and has pre-planned our success over them. The succession of victories over our tests is what yields an effective testimony.
The truth of the matter is that the Word states that while we are residents on this earth we will have troubles. The encouraging news is that those trials don’t have to be endured in vain. We don’t have to allow them to go to waste. Come to think about it, if we have to go through them anyway, why not allow them to be used in a positive way for the overall good of humanity and in a way that points people to Jesus.
Lord, thank You for allowing me to play a role in the overall work that You’re doing on this earth. As I endure hardship, help me to remember that my victory over trials is making an eternal difference in the lives of so many, some of whom I may never be made aware of on this side of heaven.
for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. – Romans 3:23-24 (NIV)
Did you do something lately that you’re not proud of? Perhaps those closest to you would agree with your sentiments. You may be plagued by racing thoughts that this incident is too far removed from God’s reach to cover your error with His grace. You may also be wondering if you could ever be good enough in order to earn God’s mercy and forgiveness.
As you recount your steps and analyze the error of your ways, you may feel a heavy sense of condemnation. For God’s children, it is important to remember that He convicts our conscience, not so that we’ll wallow in a state of depression but in order to prompt us to make an about face turn from the error of our ways. He does this so that we will return safely to the wide open space surrounded on all sides by healthy boundaries. Hence, those boundaries are put in place not as a restrictive measure but to give us long term success.
Furthermore, one of the best and most freeing experiences is to arrive at the understanding that we are indeed totally and completely helpless and hopeless of ever being good enough to connect ourselves to God. Jesus is the connective piece that intertwines perfectly with the Father and serves as our gateway to have constant access and fellowship with the One who absolutely adores our souls.
Lord, thank You that Jesus’ perfection covers over a multitude of sins and keeps me in a right standing with You.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. – Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV)
Is time passing you by like a speeding freight train? Perhaps your mind is racing each evening as you attempt to lay your head to rest because there are so many things left undone. Perhaps you feel the adrenaline rush the minute you open your eyes in the morning; before you even begin your day, you are already pressed beyond measure to accomplish an unrealistic “to do” list.
Nevertheless, the world teaches that independence is a sign of great strength when in fact it takes far more strength to take time out and commune with the Lord when you are simultaneously being pressed on every side by those who are demanding results. The truth of the matter is that it’s actually a sign of arrogance to think that we are capable of accomplishing anything of true value apart from receiving guidance and instruction from the Lord.
The Lord wants to be our docking station whereas, we go out with a divine set of strategic instructions and after accomplishing those things that He has placed on our agenda, we return to our only true source who can factor in those things of old and the things yet to come in order to accomplish mighty things in His name and for His glory.
Lord, thanks for desiring to be my strategic coach, guiding me through the process of accomplishing things of true Kingdom value. As the world runs around frantically trying to make things happen, I commit to bowing before You as humbly as I know how in order to receive and accomplish the agenda you have planned for me.
Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life. – Proverbs 4:23 (NLT)
Are you easily offended? Perhaps you have a preconceived notion of the way you expect others to treat you. Your demeanor may exude a subtle hint that you are tender-hearted so you’re in dire need for others to deal with you in a delicate manner.
Even though you may have a fixed mindset that others should automatically treat you favorably, due to your kind spirit, you still must refrain from placing that person on a pedestal. In that, you’re more than likely setting yourself up for a huge heartbreak.
Since offenses are like leaches that serve to drain the flow of life-giving blood, it is imperative that we don’t take offense because bitterness is in close proximity waiting to take root. Furthermore, we must be so wrapped up in the Word of God that the offense literally has no possible way to penetrate through and sabotage our emotions.
Lord, thank You for providing Your Word to serve as an impenetrable shield to keep offenses from negatively affecting me.
But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed. – (Luke 5:16) (NIV)
Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails. – (Proverbs 19:21) (NIV)
Does it feel as though there is no way humanly possible to accomplish everything on your agenda today? Perhaps you rushed out without taking time to commune with God. Your adrenaline may have been pumping in an effort to get everyone out of the house on time. From there it may seem as though you were whisked away only to fight intense traffic in order to get to work on time.
If that sums up your morning, you may want to consider that you are too busy not to pray. Entering into the presence of God and allowing our spirit to commune with His is essential. It’s most likely the only time we will feel total and complete peace and freedom from the burdens and cares of this life. It’s where we can place every concern, financial burden, conflict and our overbooked calendar at His feet in exchange for a renewed and refreshed spirit.
Furthermore, not only will He give us a renewed and refreshed spirit but He’ll serve as our strategic partner and life coach. He’ll provide us with a strategic plan to accomplish everything that He has in store for our day. Nevertheless, in order to reap the most benefit from your refreshed and renewed spirit, you must remain fully present in today. Tomorrow has to wait its turn to come forth and yesterday has purposefully been locked behind the door of time, as the clock struck midnight.
Lord, thank You for reminding me that my efforts are futile apart from You, as nothing of true value can happen apart from Your participation. Thanks for serving as my strategic partner and life coach in order to weed out the time wasters and get things of kingdom value done in record time.
And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus. – (Philippians 4:19) (NIV)
Are you struggling financially? Perhaps you have more month than you do money, so to speak, whereas your bills far exceed your income. Perhaps your financial struggle is not as intense but it is still very stressful because you barely make it each month. As you are living paycheck to paycheck, you more than likely are not able to save for the unforeseen things that tend to occur in life. Furthermore, the smallest unforeseen occurrence seems to result in an extensive setback.
As you look to reducing your expenditures, it’s important to make two lists, one list containing the things you consider to be needs and the other wants. The first angle of attack should be to work on reducing the expenditures associated with your basic needs. The object here is to examine ways to cut cost but yet still ensure that your basic needs are met. Shaving off even the smallest excessive amount not only gives you immediate financial relief but it also gives a glimmer of hope knowing that your situation is not completely hopeless.
Lastly, it is important to identify the “will not’s” which represent the expenditures that are over and above your basic needs but you have declared that you will not part with it because there is an emotional tie. Quite frequently, trying to deal with the things in this category makes you feel as though you’ve hit a brick wall. The personal perception is that although it does not fall in the basic needs category, one feels that he or she simply can’t do without it. In this instance, the angle of attack would be to first and foremost, work on the emotion itself. Hence, simply doing away with the expenditure, without addressing the emotional tie, more than likely will cause you to fill that void with something else in the not so distant future.
Lord, thank you for always providing enough to meet my needs. Grant me wisdom, knowledge and understanding to know the difference between what You consider to be a need and that of a want. Help me to combat with Your Word the negative emotions that are keeping me in financial bondage.
Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. – (Ps. 139:7-8) (NIV)
Are you longing to sense God’s presence? Perhaps you are at a crossroad in your life and you desperately need to hear His voice in order to make a very important decision. It may seem as though your whole life and the lives around you will be drastically altered by this choice thus, you want to make sure that you make the right decision.
You may be reminiscing about a time when you sensed God’s presence at a specific location and are trying to make your way back there in order to receive a clear answer. As you think back to your experience at that place, you may recall a sense of peace to the point that the cares of your situation appeared to melt away.
Nevertheless, it is important to remember that the place, in and of itself, is not magical. The truth of the matter is that God is everywhere, all the time. The unique aspect of that location is that you most likely made a concerted effort to quiet all the background noise and peel away the layers of worry and stress that had previously prevented the Son from shining through.
Lord, thank You for reminding me that I don’t have to go to a particular location in order to usher in Your presence, as You are omnipresent. As I long to feel Your presence and receive clear direction, I’m making an effort right now to disrobe myself of the layers of worry and stress that has blocked my ability to hear clearly.